I'm not really sure what to do with this news story I've been following.
Perhaps you can help me sort it out.
Part of me wants to vomit at the thought of being jailed for a thought crime.
Part of me want to slap this dude in the face, spit on him and then yell at him for about a week.
And, part of me wants to rip out the book of Revelation and answer the burning question -- is this the first or third sign of the Apocalypse?!
SO, here's here's my understanding on what's going down: This Australian guy, Gerald Toben, was sitting in his Australian home from about 2000 - 2004 posting crap on his web site denying the Holocaust. Reprehensible, no doubt. At some point in October, he finds himself in the US in need of flying to Dubai. He catches a flight and has a layover at Heathrow airport in London where he's arrested for the crime of "Holocaust Denying" based on a 2004 EU arrest warrant issued in Mannheim, Germany.
This was not a case of a criminal seeking political asylum. The guy didn't commit the "crime" in Germany. He didn't even commit the "crime" in London where he was arrested. His "offense" is not a crime in either Australia, where he sat publishing it, nor in the UK where he was arrested. As far as I can tell, the extradition treaties in place when he posted the material did NOT include a list with this "crime" on it, nor did it meet the dual criminality requirements (meaning it's a crime with equivalent punishments in both countries). So, why, you might ask, is he being arrested? It seems that there is a mandatory extradition law that requires any EU country arrest and immediately extradite anyone that has an EU Arrest Warrant issued by any other EU country, regardless of whether the "offense" was unlawful in that country or not.
Granted, it is VERY difficult to have sympathy for Toben -- he's not just some guy who posted a few mis-guided thoughts on his blog. He's actually been arrested before for similar "Hate Crimes" and even allegedly attended a conference in 2006 entitled "Review of the Holocaust: global vision" held by President Ahmadinejad of Iran. Not a model citizen for sure.
The question is, however: are we now under one law? Are each of us now held to the laws of other countries, even when we're not in those countries and, perhaps, never go to those countries? Belgium, it seems, has already had to deal with this issue when an arrest warrant for murder was issued by Poland for a woman who had an abortion. Again, arguments about the crime aside, the issue is one of our Constitutional Rights -- are we to be held to the laws of EU countries regardless of the law's legitimacy based on our Constitution and regardless of whether it meets the requirements of the extradition treaties we have with those countries?
What's next? Sharia? (don't roll your eyes -- the radical Muslim populations are wildly increasing across Europe... it could happen)
So, before you book a flight, think back.... have you posted anything on the Web that some other country might deem offensive? Have you committed an act of any kind that would be deemed a crime in any part of the EU? Are you certain? Might want to re-direct your flight and avoid the EU, unless, of course, that's you destination... and then I might have to ask, "Why?"